What to Say. What to Say.

I was asked to speak at my son’s wedding. He asked about 3 weeks before the event. So I laid in bed, night after night, and wrote script after script in my head of what I’d say, how I’d say it, how everyone would laugh and cry, how fabulous I was, and how great I’d look. Then, I wouldn’t write it. I wouldn’t commit anything to paper because it all sounded wrong. It sounded tinny and insincere. It all sounded wrong, and tinny, and insincere, and I’d put on 3 pounds since I bought my dress for the wedding.

So I did what I always do. Nothing. I avoided thinking about it, and I secretly worried (about the speech, and my growing Buddha-belly–egads!).

But the day of the wedding came, as they inevitably do, and I sat through the service alternately crying and laughing and clenching my butt chakra. Afterwards, with a glass of champagne, a full heart, and a mouthful of cheesecake, I asked him, “Do you still want me to say something?”

“Yes. I do. You are going to say something, aren’t you?” He sounded trepidatious, like I might let him down.

“Of course!!” I say, full of conviction and terror. But now what? What now? What was I to say?

There was nothing for it but to write. So I slipped off my shoes, found a quiet spot, and on the back of the wedding program I wrote my speech. Here it is:

What is a mother to say on her son’s wedding day? I’ve thought and struggled to find the words, and as many times as I’ve put pen to paper, I’ve tossed it aside–unsatisfied and unsure. So I’ve decided to do two things: share the wisdom of another and speak from my heart. 
When Jonah told us he was marrying Richelle we were overwhelmed. We were surprised: what should we think? what should we do? what should we say? We didn’t know. 


Then we met Richelle–and as a family, fell madly in love. But it was our 7-year old, Bronwyn, that said it best when she said to me, “Mom, you know what I think? I think Jonah is too young to get married, but he sure picked a beautiful, pretty girl to marry.” And Bronwyn was right–Jonah picked the most beautiful, pretty girl to marry–inside and out. 

But it’s a strange thing seeing your child in love. A strange thing knowing the scraped knees I bandaged when he fell off his bike, the sweet green eyes I dried when he was hurt or overlooked, and the small, cute bum I wiped when he……well…..when he………are another woman’s to care for.

So I stand here feeling strange, proud, emotional, and a little lost–but happy. Happy to know that there is such a woman. Such a Richelle. That she loves my boy, and will love him as long, and longer, than I will.

I love you Jonah–with my heart and soul. And Richelle–you are part of us now. Our big, mad, crazy crowd, and we love you too.

So, to Jonah and Richelle.


In the end, I think I did okay. And it probably helped that most of the audience was Dutch and didn’t understand half of it. What I learned was that it doesn’t really matter what you say, just that you say it, whether you look like a sausage in your too-tight dress or not. 
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4 thoughts on “What to Say. What to Say.

  1. I love you blog! And I seem to have found it too late because you haven't posted anything in a good while. It's your sense of humor that appeals to me most–that ability to find the humor in life's little difficulties. It's something that I do just to survive life's little d's. Maybe you haven't stopped blogging–I hope you haven't–but if you have, then thanks for these pages and I hope that life is going smoothly for you and that you are still having a laugh from time to time.

  2. Oh my. Gwnfydd. I am so moved by your thoughts. I did stop blogging. Not because I stopped having something to say, but because life got crazy and….and really, more importantly, I forgot my password. But I'm back. All my unfettered, uncensored self. I hope you come by again.

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